TennisSection previews the 2022 Rotterdam Open as Hubert Hurkacz takes on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round on Monday, February 7th, 2022.
Poland’s No. 1 player Hubert Hurkacz will look to return to winning ways after his eyebrow-raising straight sets defeat to Adrian Mannarino at the Australian Open. Hurkacz will play another Frenchman in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on his return to the Rotterdam Open.
Hubert Hurkacz was a projected fourth-round stumbling block in Rafael Nadal’s path to his second Australian Open title last month. But the Polish star suffered a surprise second-round defeat to Adrian Mannarino. It almost beggared belief how it happened particularly after Hurkacz steered his country to the ATP Cup semifinals a few weeks earlier. But Mannarino was on another level Down Under, and Aslan Karatsev (who lost in the subsequent round) and Nadal himself can attest to this. Nonetheless, Hurkacz is widely expected to get his season up and running once more this week. He is still Poland’s number one male player and is eyeing a return to the world’s Top 10 before the end of the month. Can he defeat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga?
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has been granted a wild card entrant at the Rotterdam Open. The ATP 500 event is one of the most prestigious events at this level on the ATP calendar. Tsonga, a former champion on these shores, was bound to be in the main draw in spite of his low ranking status. The 36-year-old is still capable of producing flashes of brilliance and is overdue for a deep run before he hangs up his racket. Could it happen this week, beginning with a first-round upset against Hubert Hurkacz?
Hubert Hurkacz and Jo-Wilfried have not played each other at any level. Monday’s match at the Rotterdam Open will be their first official meeting. Both players are looking to get their campaigns right on track. Hurkacz, for his part, after the Australian Open shambles while Tsonga after his recent defeat to Krajinovic. For the Frenchman, it is a long road to get back into the upper echelons of the sport and the end is not in sight. The higher-ranked Hurkacz should steady the ship this time on his return to action.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets.
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